What are money scripts? What’s yours?


Which is your dominant money script?

Here are the four main money scripts:

1. Money avoidance

Money avoiders tend to believe that “money is the root of all evil.” They often associate wealth with corruption and greed, and they may feel guilty for wanting or acquiring money for themselves, especially when others have less. They tend to have view a higher tendency towards the Money Avoidance script tend to view money in a negative light and may believe that it is inherently bad.

Money avoiders see virtue in living with less, but this mindset can also hinder financial successes, as money avoiders may unconsciously sabotage their efforts to accumulate wealth. They may frequently give away money and avoid thinking about finances, which can lead to overspending and difficulty in managing a budget. Those in “helping” professions, such as psychologists and social workers, tend to fall into this category.

2. Money Worship

Individuals who exhibit money-worshipping behaviour believe that money is the key to happiness, and they see it as a solution to any problems. However, they also believe that one can never have enough money and, ultimately, find that their pursuit is never satisfied. Interestingly, money worshippers are more likely to carry credit card debt and have a lower net worth.

Money worshippers tend to purchase material possessions to feel happy, and they may prioritize work over spending time with friends and family. And, those with the Money Worship script often give or loan money to others even when they cannot afford to do so. While this is not always the case, people who lean towards a Money Worship script are often high performers in careers that reward hard work and upward mobility—for example, aspiring to make partner in a law firm or accounting firm.

3. Money Status

Do you feel like your self-worth is tied to your wealth? This is a common belief among people with the Money Status money script. The Money Status and Money Worship scripts share some similarities, but the former highlights outward displays of wealth, while the latter prioritizes accumulating money for happiness. This often leads to overspending, gambling, financial dependence, and lack of trust in relationships. In fact, couples who keep their money situations hush-hush from each other make a significant financial mistake. 

Research by the Klontzes shows that many people who hold Money Status scripts were raised in low-income homes and believe that achieving a higher socio-economic status will increase their self-worth and happiness. Individuals who demonstrate Money Status beliefs don’t necessarily share similar career choices; rather, they tend to become financially dependent on others and overspend.

4. Money Vigilant

The Money Vigilant money script applies to people who are generally diligent about and attentive to their financial lives. They are constantly making sure they have enough money, such as by reviewing financial documents, and they believe in the importance of regular saving. They tend to achieve healthy financial outcomes, as they make responsible financial decisions and prioritize living within their means.

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